DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE ACTION ALERT
Help Stop Anti-Wolf Legislation in Alaska
The wolves of Alaska urgently need your help. The state legislature is considering two bills - House Bill 208 and Senate Bill 155 - that will allow hunters to kill wolves from the air or spot wolves and then land their airplanes to shoot them as part of an authorized predator control program. Twice now, Alaskan voters have banned this notorious "land and shoot" method of killing wolves, for any reason. What's more, both bills allow for an unprecedented new policy of killing wolves as a "preemptive" measure to keep moose and caribou at high levels for hunters, even if populations of those animals are stable or increasing. If these bills pass, virtually all of the wolves on state lands in Alaska could be at risk, and hundreds of wolves would be needlessly killed.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Both bills are currently being considered in the Resources and Judiciary Committees. Please call and ask your state representative and senator to reject these bills. For information on who your representatives are, or contact information, visit http://w3.legis.state.ak.us/infodocs/infodocs.htm
Alaskans have made it clear through two ballot measures that same-day airborne wolf hunting by the public is not acceptable under any circumstance. Thanks for supporting Alaska's magnificent wolves.TALKING POINTS
As a resident of Alaska and a supporter of wildlife, I vigorously oppose two anti- wolf measures - House Bill 208 and Senate Bill 155.
Once again, I urge you to reject these measures. Thank you for considering my comments.
If you want to do more, please contact the following committee members to stop same-day airborne wolf hunting in its tracks.House Judiciary
Email + @legis.state.ak.us
Seekins, Ralph (Chair)
Senate Resources Ogan, Scott (Chair)
SB 155 and HB 208 are identical bills that (1) authorize a method of reducing wolves that Alaskan voters rejected in two statewide ballot measure votes in 1996 and 2000 and (2) drop a provision in law that requires prey population objectives to be used to determine whether predator control programs should be authorized, i.e., under the terms of the new bills, predator control programs can be authorized even if prey populations are high and predators are causing no problems.
Same-day airborne wolf hunting, also known as land and shoot, by the public, either as individuals or agents of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game was clearly prohibited by the Referendum of November 2000 (Ballot Measure 6) as follows:
Ballot Measure 6 Language
"Voters are asked to either approve or reject a law allowing hunters to land and shoot wolves on the same day they fly. The law allows any person with a hunting or trapping license to land and shoot in areas established by the Board of Game. No additional permit may be required. The law also allows the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) to use agents, as well as employees, to engage in same day airborne shooting of wolves. A yes vote rejects the law. A no vote approves the law."
147,043 voters approved rejecting the law (53.5%) on November 7, 2000
In the aftermath of this vote, predator control programs could still be implemented by the state under AS 16.05.783, involving shooting from wolves from the air, but the law limited the shooting to ADF&G employees.
The reasons for rejecting SB 155 and HB208 and keeping the prohibition against public land and shoot wolf shooting are as follows:
Regarding the provision of SB 155 and HB 208 that removes prey population objectives as a factor in determining whether to authorize predator control, the fundamental basis for all of Alaska's predator control programs in the past has been to correct a low or declining prey population. To begin predator control when prey populations are high or healthy and before there is a problem is biologically unsound and poor public policy.
Wolf Song of Alaska, P.O. Box 671670, Chugiak, Alaska 99567-1670